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What is trauma informed care?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines the concept of a trauma-informed approach with the following language:

A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

  1. Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
  2. Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;
  3. Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; an
  4. Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”

Trauma is not a prerequisite for developing a substance use disorder but it is a commonly co-occurring issue. Studies have found that 75 percent of persons receiving addiction treatment report abuse and trauma histories.

Serenity Lane’s integrated care model includes treatment for co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety. We also recognize that trauma ranging from powerful, one-time incidents or longer term, chronic experiences must be addressed when assessing a patient’s treatment needs and recovery program.

Trauma-Informed Services Model


Our trauma-informed services incorporate the SAMHSA model with emphasis on training our admissions and clinical staff to identify and have awareness around trauma. In most cases patients who have experiences or witnessed acute or chronic trauma will exhibit depression, anxiety, difficulty controlling emotions, dissociation, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, guilt, self-esteem issues, mistrust of others, significant history of relapse and unsatisfactory interpersonal relationships.


When trauma is clearly identified or even suspected admissions and clinical staff utilize a wrap-around team of alcohol and drug, medical and mental-health staff to assess needs and care plans for the patient. Outcomes of this process may include:

  • Attendance at a Coping with Trauma group
  • Individual support sessions with a mental health specialist
  • Referring the patient to a facility that is specialized in dealing with trauma patients
  • Referring the patient for additional services to coordinate with ongoing treatment at Serenity Lane
  • Postponing referrals until after completion of specific levels of care, if appropriate

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy for Trauma 

In addition to the methods mentioned above, Serenity Lane also utilizes EMDR for some patients. This January clinical staff will undergo two EMDR sessions that will expand and grow this particular skill set among our clinicians. We will also open these training up to other practitioners in the community to better grow awareness and accessibility to this therapy.


Non-profit treatment centers for
alcohol and drug addictions.
Treatment facilities located in:

Coburg, Eugene, SE Portland, SW Portland, Salem, Albany, Bend, and Roseburg, OR